What is one of your proudest moments as a group, and how did it impact your music career?
Shaheed: Touring with Jurassic 5 nationally and abroad, and doing the work we do in the community with our foundation Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding for the youth.
DJ Supreme: One of our proudest moments to me was touring the world with Jurassic 5. We traveled to the UK and Germany representing with Birmingham, all on our backs. The crowd was excited and receptive and we made new friends and fans. That was truly a proud moment.
How has growing up in Birmingham, Alabama influenced your vision for your music videos, specifically, the most recent music video “S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M., and S.T.R.E.A.M.”?
Shaheed: Growing up in Alabama has helped us tremendously because we get to show the world how great it is down here – even though there are a lot of negative misconceptions, we, along with our music, get to change that by showing Birmingham in a positive light.
DJ Supreme: The location of the video is the McWane Science Senter. It’s a very popular place and the kids in Birmingham love it. We felt it would be the perfect place to film the video.
What artists or groups have inspired you growing up? Where have you applied some of that inspiration into your work?
Shaheed: There are so many that I could name but for short: Prince, Eric B and Rakim, Gangstarr, Krs-One, Jurassic 5, Stevie Wonder, Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest – there are so many we could name, so I will stop there.
DJ Supreme: I was influenced by emcees like Rakim, KRS-One, Chuck D, Slick Rick, and Wise Intelligent. Producers like Pete Rock, Diamond D, Jay See, Dr. Dre, and Erick Sermon influenced me as well. You can hear their influence in our work..
Do you all have a favorite element of the lyrics or “S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M., and S.T.R.E.A.M.” music video that you can share, and why?
Shaheed: The whole song, really, because I was told by the McWane Science Center that I covered their mottos and principles without even knowing them. I was inspired to write the song because my mother was a principal and an educator so it was my life growing up. With the video, it was seeing the smiles on the children’s faces because they will never forget the moment and the day. It was like a hip-hop field trip that day.
DJ Supreme: I love the fact that Shaheed was so tapped in lyrically once approached with the concept. He makes it seem so effortless although it took a great deal of work putting the song together.
What was your underlying motivation behind creating this track and building the vision for the music video? Does a specific moment, experience, or person come to mind? In what way is this song a tribute to your growth since adolescence?
Shaheed: Well like I said earlier, my mother was an educator so in a way for me, it’s taking my childhood and talking about it. We have worked with so many programs that offer the S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. and S.T.R.E.A.M. services, and we wanted to honor them as well.
The “S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M., and S.T.R.E.A.M.” music video is very inspiring to the young audience aspiring to make it in the world – What message would you like to relay those who are growing up in America, especially first-generation, who are trying to find what path to take?
Shaheed: Always try to make a good decision because you may not have a chance to make another one, and listen to and obey your parents because they love you and do so much for you. And Always Put The Creator First, and learn every day and get better.
DJ Supreme: We strive to inspire our young audience to strive to be great in whatever field they choose. Whether or not they decide to become practitioners of hip-hop, we let them know they can be great if they continue to work hard toward their goals. That’s how multi-faceted S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M., and S.T.R.E.A.M. education can be.
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